An Incatvenience

Sometimes we do things because we want to do them.  Other times we do them because we have to do them.  Every once in a while, we do things because they’re just the right thing to do.

For those that are unaware, cats can climb things.  Or rather, cats can climb ALL things.  Indoor cats are limited to what their owners put inside for them to claw and scramble on top of.  Outdoor cats are only limited to how high they want to go, or how high they need to go.

My fiancee’s father’s neighbours have an outdoor cat.  It also has it’s claws (which is good if it’s going to be outside most of the time.)  And a few days ago it decided to use those claws and it’s cat-like abilities to climb a hydro pole.  Not a telephone pole of moderate height…a hydro pole that stands about 10 feet lower than the CN Tower.  And, of course, surrounded by high voltage wires.

And it didn’t come down.

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It’s owners thought it had been scared up the pole by some coyotes they’d heard earlier on.  Which would explain why a cat would feel the need to scale the Mount Everest of wooden poles.  It might also explain why nearly a day later, it still hadn’t come down.

My fiancee arrived at her dad’s place for Thanksgiving Dinner, and was caught up on the event taking place outside the window.  Ever sympathetic and compassionate, she immediately took to social media to see who could be helping.

The response from the fire department was understandable, and didn’t offer much hope at first, but did point in the right direction to get some help:

Posting and sharing on Facebook and Twitter continued, and my fiancee returned home from dinner slightly upset, but at the same time understanding of the situation.  She didn’t want anyone to put themselves in harms way, and just wished there was something someone could do to help get the cat down.

The next morning came, and still the cat remained.  By this time it had been at the top of the pole for about a day and a half.  Another plea for help was made:

Continued posting and sharing and worrying, and finally, just before 10am, a glimmer of hope in a 140 characters or less:

From there the information was passed along, the proper people were contacted, and around Noon activity was picking up around the pole.

After checking things out, the power company decided helping out was both SAFE and the right thing to do, and made their move:

From there it was just a matter of time, and sure enough, thanks to Mark and Ryan from Canadian Niagara Power, the cat was finally rescued from its perch high above the ground.

There are a few things to be taken from this story.  Firstly, although the saying goes “I’ve never seen a cat skeleton on a hydro pole”, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t the RIGHT thing to do.  Yes, the cat more than likely would have come down on its own when it felt it needed to.  No one wants to think worst case scenario, but there  was the chance  it could have injured itself getting down, or worst care, touched a hydro line.

The fact it was up a pole right in front of its owners house would have made either of those results a horrible thing to witness.  If you’ve ever owned a pet or cared for animals, you’ll know the emotions involved.  And yes, emotions and reality sometimes don’t get along, but I think the right call was made.

Secondly, it was great of all of these groups (Niagara Regional Police, who were on scene, Fort Erie Fire Department, who got the info to the right people, and of course Canadian Niagara Power to get the crew on site and shut off the power) to take the time to help out a cat and a group of concerned people on a holiday. Some days it’s hard enough to do your job on a regular day, but early on a holiday Monday with a turkey hangover?  Good on everyone involved for helping out and making sure it happened safely.

And finally, it just confirmed something I’ve known for a while…I’m a lucky guy to have someone that cares as much as my fiancee.  Although if I climbed a hydro pole, I’m not sure I’d get the same response.  Understandable.

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